I feel bad about only giving this one three stars, but I think it accurately reflects my reading experience. I had to read this by e-book, and that just isn’t a format that works perfectly for me, except for when I’m reading romance or fanfic. I had a hard time focusing on it. When I was able to focus, it was clear that von Bremzen was a good writer, with things to say. She writes about food, and her experiences around, so very well.
This book chronicles the author’s experiences growing up first in the former Soviet Union, and her experiences with food there, and then her experiences as an immigrant to the United States, and how her relationship to food changed. Part of this book also features her and her mother re-experiencing Russian/Soviet food decades apart from having left there.
There is a small section at the end of the book with traditional recipes for things like Borshch, Gefilte Fish, and Kotleti. One of these days, I really want to try my hand at the Borshch, but it seems rather elaborate to make, and I’m a bit worried I won’t like it, and have no one at the moment with which to share the frankly enormous amount of stew it would make (thanks, quarantine!). This is honestly another reason I’m only giving this five stars. I thought this would have a lot more actual recipes (and pictures of recipes! all books about food should be required to have pictures) than it did. It was 95% memoir (about food, but still), 5% food. I wanted more like 50/50.
Read Harder Challenge 2020: Read a food book about cuisine you’ve never tried before.
CBR Bingo: How To (plus one BINGO)